* Posts by Jusme

67 posts • joined 18 Dec 2007


Lockdown endgame? There won't be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps


Wrong answer

This is the wrong answer, because:

It's a technical solution to a medical problem. The only long-term solution is a vaccine. In the meantime, we either destroy our society or have thousands die. A tough choice, and at the moment we seem to be managing to do both.

It assumes a sufficient %age of the population have suitable hardware, and are willing to, and capable of, using this "app". Unlikely.

The chances of developing something reliable and effective on this scale at such short notice, even for these rock-star organisations, is minimal. There will be bugs, and security flaws. It will be pwnd by $badguys.

It's a prime example of how so many see technology they don't understand as "magic", and assume that magic can solve any problem, because it's magic, isn't it...

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address


Re: Sad to see it go


My sign-up letter was signed by Giles Todd.

The past really is a different country...

Stob's vital message to Britain's IT nation: And no, it's not about that


Ob. xkcd


"Bacofoil millinery faction" - stolen...

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'


Re: Back in the day...


But the location of the break key was top-right, not top-left like wot I rote.


Back in the day...

...we had many Sun servers. Being cheapskates, we didn't endow them with the customary (and rather nice, for the time) Sun CRT and keyboard - they were only for workstations. Instead they had some ancient ICL serial terminals pressed into service for local consoles.

Now these ICL serial terminals had an interesting key layout, with a "break" key on the top-left, conveniently placed immediately above the return key and to the right of the backspace key. Pressing the "break" key, as one would expect, generated a serial-line break condition. Unfortunately these early Sun servers interpreted a serial line break on the console port as a "break to monitor", immediately and unconditionally halting the running OS (SunOS 3), and somewhat degrading their role as file servers or whatever. If you were quick, typing "cont" would restore normal operation, if not...

Yes, I pressed it by accident. And learned to type "cont" very quickly. As did others, who weren't so familiar with the foibles of this setup. By the time they'd typed a few *nix commands into the monitor, figured things weren't quite right, and called someone over, it was too late to safely just continue (as we discovered the hard way), so a full reboot, and fsck, was required - usually most of an hours downtime.

Fun times...

Who's that padding down the chimney? It's Puma, with its weird £80 socks for gamers


Well I'm all for a game of footsie...


Quic! Head to the latest Chrome version and try out HTTP/3



Well it seems well intentioned, but given the parents of this innovation (Google and Cloudflare - wannabe owners of the internet) I'm not sure this is a Good Thing.

Also, if QUIC/IP is replacing TCP/IP, shouldn't that be implemented in the OS, rather than every application? I can imagine a world where there are dozens of buggy, incompatible implementations, so browser X won't talk to site Y. Oh... isn't that handy..........

Rolling in DoH: Chrome 78 to experiment with DNS-over-HTTPS – hot on the heels of Firefox

Big Brother


Another notch... so soon


Mozilla Firefox to begin slow rollout of DNS-over-HTTPS by default at the end of the month

Big Brother

Another click on the ratchet

Data channel locked down with https, DNS locked down with DOH, content locked down with DRM. Emails rejected unless they come from one of the big providers. Barriers to entry erected. Only Big Business allowed to play soon.

It's not the internet any more Toto, it's Cable TV Mk2, with a credit card reader as a viewing card.

Paranoid? Maybe. True? We'll see...

Devs slam Microsoft for injecting tech-support scam ads into their Windows Store apps


I see the problem right here...

"programmers who use Redmond's Advertising Software Development Kit (SDK) to display ads in their apps"

Pot, meet kettle...

Uncle Sam wants to tackle bias in algorithms by ordering tech corps to explain how their machines really work


Well that's AI fsck'd then...

Not that it'll ever happen.

Slow Ring Windows 10 fragged by anti-cheat software in the games you're playing at work, says Insiders supremo


WTF is a Slow Ring???



Oh, an alpha release...

<crawls back into my box>

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?


Makes me pine for the days of XML...

yaml, bastard sibling of python. Love-children of the scented chip-fat smoking brigade.

They're the the sort of "languages" I'd invent as a kid to solve a particular problem. Full of inconsistencies and hacks to make them more generally useful. Unfortunately they'll probably take over the world by sheer weight of numbers.

Now please vacate my lawn, it's getting dark.

Bitbucket wobbles but it won't fall. Oh, snap...


♫ Bitbuckets wobble but they don't fall down ♫

'The inmates have taken over the asylum': DNS godfather blasts DNS over HTTPS adoption


Another step

Another step towards handing control of the Internet to the megacorps, with nice high barriers to entry and only a few bums for the authorities to kick.

(Consider when web browsers insist on using their owners servers for DNS, and by owners I mean google/apple/microsoft...)

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra


Re: re. micro sd, etc.

> Yes, give me a solution to the cablegeddon and my life will become pure blissssss....

Re-sealable freezer bags. 1 per cable. I buy them in bulk!

B&Q crate or storage box for different types - Ethernet, USB, HDMI, Audio, etc. etc.

No D'oh! DNS-over-HTTPS passes Mozilla performance test

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They're building the walls and fitting the locks. Soon they'll take away the keys...

Down-vote button is here btw:

. . . . . . V

IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on


Two reasons...

...from my pov:

To reach every site, or be reachable from every potential client, you need an IPV4 address. If you have an IPV4 address, you don't need an IPV6 address. Adding an IPV6 address is > 0 effort/cost/hassle/risk, so why bother.

Some actors have been too aggressive in pushing IPV6 by default, before it was (is?) sensible to use it. This leads to a "disable IPV6 and it works" mindset. And because there is generally no simple way to say "prefer IPV4", IPV6 gets nuked at the lowest level, never to be seen or herd of again.

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers


Re: And how...

Even if you could, and they did, good luck getting credit / buying a house / car / burger once you have no credit references.

It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard


Re: Remember everybody!

Despite the downvotes, this is exactly the endgame publishers want: end-to-end control over the delivery and presentation of their (precious) content. They may or may not fully achieve it, but we're certainly well on the road towards it: First HTTPS to protect it in transit, now lockdown of the presentation. The final stage will be browsers refusing to display content that's not "approved" (they're already getting antsy about http sites), then we'll be back to the TV delivery model, with a huge cost of entry and only a few big players to control.

"I'll just use a free browser then"... But you'll only be able to view hobby sites with it, as all the mainstream sites will be locked out, so most people won't bother.

"If they block adblockers there will be an outcry"... but the vast majority of people don't care. They happily pay subscription TV services to watch ads, why should the web be any different.

As soon as there's an option to protect sites it will be used, whatever the content. The age of web-TV is coming - sit and consume what's served up by your masters, no looking behind the curtains, no "fake news" from unapproved sources.

Don't agree? Time to accept that the internet is now a utility. Mainstream, regulated, sanitized and in the hands of the big boys. The open internet we grew up with will be like amateur radio - still available to those who care, but very much a fringe interest.

Is it time to leave Earth yet, Pop?

Intel Atom chips have been dying for at least 18 months – only now is truth coming to light


Re: Maybe everyone from Pentium FDIV bug days has retired?

> But after 22 years

Feck, I'm old!

Google man drags Emacs into the 1990s



...soon we'll need a GTX1080 and be fiddling with vsync just to edit text.

(Actually I never use xemacs, only the text-mode-in-a-terminal-under-screen flavour)

NetNames confirms easily.co.uk whacked by cyber crims


Re: "Told punters yesterday", did they?

We got a mail "Easily Security Update" yesterday that went in the "could be a phishing attempt" pile as it was peppered with crap like "Click the “Forgotten Login/Password” [www.mmtrack43.co.uk] button". The only worrying aspect was that it was sent to the unique address used only for our Easily account - was it sent by the hackers to get the info they missed while they were in...?

(WTF is mmtrack43.co.uk? Google for "mmtrack43.co.uk" brings up a lot of links about Blueleaf Plants. mmtrack.co.uk seems to be some sort of mailing manager, but nothing that gives any confidence it's legitimate).

By 2019, vendors will have sucked out your ID along with your cash 5 billion times


Re: No thanks...

@TRT, oblig. https://xkcd.com/538/


Re: So...

Maybe I'm not thinking it through all the way, why wouldn't this solve the problem?

$badBoys don't obey the law. It only needs you to be suckered by one biometric validating app that keeps your plaintext and you're sol.


No thanks...

Three problems with biometrics.

1) The human body isn't suited to being machine-readable. This means either the match is fussy (got a cold? No cookies for you today) or lax (1-in-100-or-less false positives). Most systems tend to the latter, else they're deemed to "not work".

2) You only have one identity. Different finger for each website is a bit limiting, and once you've given your DNA sample to $badBoys (via cutekittens.org) they can impersonate you anywhere, forever.

3) You can't change your biometric identity. Once it's compromised - tough.

Proper 2-factor authentication is the way to go (i.e. something you have and something you know, not something you know and something else you know asked in a really awkward way, as some sites seem to think...)

Bacon can kill: Official


Red meat isn't bad for you...

fuzzy green meat is bad for you...

Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses


Re: IP8?

What you're supposed to do in IPv6 is to maintain an internal network like you do before using Unique Local Addresses (fec0::/10) and let the firewall do the translating for you like it does now for NAT

But don't the IPV6 high priests denounce NAT?

It's the Internet of Feet: Lenovo shows smart shoes, projector keyboard phone


Internet of Feet?

Damn, almost got a little excited there ;)

Mozilla to whack HTTP sites with feature-ban stick

Black Helicopters

Does anyone still believe https is secure?

Just go look in your browser certificate store and see world+dog being trusted. That's why they had to introduce Extended Validation certificates - for sites that really really (cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die) want you to think they are secure.

A false sense of security is worse than no security. On an http site you know anyone could be viewing and tampering with your data. Deal with it. On a plain https site your best bet is to assume the same.

Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Black Helicopters

A cunning plan?

Raspberry Pi turns out to be a bit of a success.

Thousands of kids are getting to use Linux and possibly liking it.

Original Pi is too weedy to run Windows.


Let's have a chat with the Pi Foundation and become buddies...

New Pi released with 6x the CPU and 4x the RAM. (For the same price?!)

Get a sawn-off version of windows running on it ("runs apps written in HTML", wtf?)

"Developers will need PowerShell running on a connected PC". There's the payback / lock-in.

Have chat with our buddies that run the National Curriculum and get some Windows-based Pi modules made mandatory.

All Pi's in schools must run Windows. Putting Linux on them is forbidden as a security risk / hackers training tool.


Damn, that takes more than three steps. Ah well....

Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP



...the hamster needs an Orange Frutie Ice lolly and a fastboot.

Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues

Black Helicopters

Sometime I wonder...

...if the internet we connect to is real any more, or just an elaborate simulation by a cartel of the big ISPs, Google and the NSA. We know all our web traffic is proxied, email is proxied, DNS is proxied. I wonder if every packet we send is going to a server at the local ISP and triggering some emulation that may or may not make a real connection to the outside world to get the date we seek.

[Nurse! The medication! Stat!]



Re: Wythenshawe

Bollx. That was West Gorton. The original Chatsworth estate was right opposite the old ICL factory (IT angle to this comment!) before they moved into studios because filming was too dangerous...

IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres


Well actually...






Cryptolocker flogged on YouTube

Thumb Up

Re: Malware served through ads? Oh dear...


Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks


Re: Madness

"Stateful systems aren't equipped to handle distributed state, thus pretty much any system that isn't an endpoint of a MCTCP connection is useless at doing anything besides simply forwarding the packets."

Correct. That's all they're supposed to be doing.

How is this different from a VPN (other than performance considerations)? Or spread-spectrum radio?

Looks like Google may ask you to PAY for YouTube music - report


I'd pay...

If the price was reasonable and IF it really did mean no ads (unlike a certain subscription TV service...).

(yes it would be nice if the original artists got a cut, but that's probably not going to happen. They did sign their rights away when they sold out to The Man. Maybe the next generation will sell directly to their fans and cut out the leeches.)

Verizon finally drags FCC into court fisticuffs to end one-speed internet for all


Re: @Jusme - I can see it coming...

Remember how long BT dragged their heels providing internet access in the first place? First with dial-up by not providing sufficient line capacity to these upstart ISPs and DAXing domestic lines when everyone wanted a second line for internet use. Then broadband...

There are only two last mile providers in the UK - BT (ok Openreach, but that's just bean-counter fiction) and Virgin, and they have precisely no incentive to open their networks to anyone. They only need to play the "Think of the Children" card and the government will be happy to let them be nanny to everyone's internet. Actually they already do.

And why else do the carriers prefer to implement NAT rather than IPV6? Couldn't be that NAT makes the internet look more like the traditional broadcast model (provider to consumer) could it?

Interesting times...

Thumb Down

I can see it coming...

"They" won't be happy until the internet is dragged back to being a cable TV service, where content providers (Facebook, Netflix, ebay, Amazon, BBC etc.) pay the carriers to take their content and the punters pay the carriers for access to "Approved" services. Google takes their cut by stuffing adverts into everyone's feed. No peer-to-peer, don't want the plebs making their own voice heard. Only the big boys need apply to join the providers club, and you'll only get into the routing tables if you're in the club.

I give it 5 years.

Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer


Re: squaring the (vicious) circle

iii) Provide adequate parking at a reasonable price, instead of closing off car parks and jacking up the price "to encourage use of alternative methods of transport."

Sheffield ISP: You don't need a whole IPv4 address to yourself, right?


Another small step...

Another small step towards the internet becoming a pay-TV service. NAT'd connections are great for consumers, not so great for creators. No, I don't count uploading your life to Facebook as being creative.

Now watch these nice adverts then you can see some cat pictures.

Techies beg world to join the 1% on IPv6 launch day


Re: Great, but...

Well I had to patch squid to prefer IPV4 because youtube was unusable over IPV6 last time we tried this.

If you're stuck on 512Kbit ADSL it may be ok, but on 50/100MBit+ cable there is no way a free public tunnelbroker is going to keep up, or be willing to try if/when demand rises beyond a few spotty geeks playing with a curious new toy.

And I'm not sure exactly what the AUP is for the one I use, but I dobut they'd be happy with me pulling several GBytes/day through their free service.


Great, but...

I still have to configure my proxy to prefer the IPV4 address when a site offers both. Why? Well for me, like I expect 99% of people, IPV6 connectivity is via a tunnel over an IPV4 link. So I either have a fast IPV4 connection to the site or a slow IPV6 one.

When more sites offer both IPV4 and IPV6 addresses, anyone who's experimented with IPV6 will rapidly start to disable their IPV6 connectivity once they figure out why everything has slowed down.

I predict "Your internet is slow?" "Have you disabled IPv6?" will become a common exchange :(

If IPV6 is to take off, the last-mile ISPs need to support it. Anything else and it's just an academic experiment.

Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth


Re: How to protect children on-line in 5 easy steps

Or if you must have a technical solution to a social problem:

1) Register ".kids"

2) Hand control of that domain to your favourite nanny organisation

3) Get ISPs to offer a filtering option that only allows access to IP addresses that reverse-lookup to a valid ".kids" address (i.e. -> cbbc.kids -> = ok, else blocked)



Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'


Zero sum game

Even if the games and media companies manage to eliminate "piracy" and second-hand sales completely they won't be getting a windfall. There's only so much disposable income to go around.

If we have to buy everything at full price most people aren't suddenly going to find 10x the cash to spend on games and media, we'll just get less of it. Actually we may spend less as well, since we'll feel more like we're being ripped off.

Trustwave admits crafting SSL snooping certificate


So basically...

SSL encryption is bust, broken and not to be trusted. If the good guys have admitted to having a skeleton-key CA certificate, you can bet the bad guys have them too...

OFFICIAL: Smart meters won't be compulsory


No mention of the real smarts...

Will these smart meters have a facility to turn your supply off remotely - like if they need to load-shed 'cos the windmills aren't turning and all the proper power stations are in the scrapyard?



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